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The results are in and voters have named the St. Louis Zoo's newest edition. 

Nearly 54-thousand votes were submitted for the zoo’s “Name the Baby Elephant” poll and the name Priya emerged the winner with 15,777 – or 29.4 percent – of the votes.  Runner-up was Willow followed by Violet, Cai and Harper. 

 Priya weighed in at 251 pounds when she was born at the zoo on April 26. She’s the third daughter for Ellie, and the fourth daughter for 20-year-old Raja.

Raja was the first elephant ever born at the St. Louis Zoo.

The zoo’s elephant care team initially selected five female names—Priya, Cai, Harper, Violet and Willow - and asked the public to vote for their favorites on the zoo’s website, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts or through ballots submitted on site.

Runner-up Willow received 13,311 votes and Violet received 12,508 votes. Cai came in fourth with 7,006 votes and Harper 5,084.

Priya has yet to make her debut to the public.

Monday, 06 May 2013 11:09
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FARMINGTON, Mo. (AP) - A 22-year-old Farmington, Missouri man is badly burned, and may face criminal charges, after a fire at his apartment was blamed on a methamphetamine lab.

The Daily Journal reports that the fire broke out last week in Farmington. A man in the apartment suffered serious burns to his face and arms.

Witnesses contacted police early Wednesday after seeing burning clothes on the sidewalk and a nude man running from the scene. The man was not found immediately but was eventually tracked down in St. Louis, where he sought treatment at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Inside the burned apartment, police found equipment that appeared to be remnants of a meth lab.

Police are planning to charge the man with first-degree arson.

 

   

Monday, 06 May 2013 11:05
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Cyclists and drivers in St. Louis are being asked to do their part to make our roads safer.  

Monday morning local leaders kicked off the "Safe Roads for All" initiative. It's a call for drivers and cyclists to follow the rules of the road. 

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says St. Louis ranks 2nd in the state when it comes to cycling-related deaths.

It was a year ago when Susan Scott's son Sam was killed while riding his bicycle. "He was killed by a drunk driver february 2012 coming home from work...it was his main mode of transport."

Sam is among many millenials, young people 25-35 years old, who choose  to use their bicycle as their main mode of transportation. The safe roads initiative is a cooperative effort by the people at Trailnet, MODOT, METRO and city police.

 Ann Mack, CEO of Trailnet; Ed Hassinger, MoDOT's District Engineer for St. Louis region; John Nations, President & CEO of Bi-State Development Agency – the parent company of Metro Transit; Chief Sam Dotson, Metropolitan Police Department, City of St. Louis and mother Susan Scott,  whose son was hit and killed by a drunk driver last year while commuting on his bicycle all stressed the need for cyclists and pedestrians need to understand that they have primary responsibility for their own safety. They said the  motoring public also has a responsibility to share the road in a safe and courteous manner with these vulnerable road users.

 Trailnet and MoDOT then lead a group of cyclists on a safety ride downtown.  Metro Transit workers lead a group of pedestrians over to the Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station to take the train downtown. 

   

 
Monday, 06 May 2013 09:27
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(ABC NEWS) Investigators hope that the four people who escaped a limousine fire, in which a newlywed and four other women died, will offer key information about what started the weekend blaze as they crossed a San Francisco-area bridge. Passersby caught the horrifying scene on camera which can be seen by scrolling down below.

Nine women were in the limo, along with a male driver, when it caught fire in the westbound lane of the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge late Saturday, California Highway Patrol said. 

The bride was identified as 31-year-old Neriza Fojas. Fojas, a registered nurse, was recently married in the United States and was planning a second ceremony in the Philippines next month. Fojas and her friends were on their way to the Crowne Plaza Hotel for her bridal shower, where her husband was waiting, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The driver, who was not hurt, told investigators he was driving the women over the bridge when one of them complained of smoke inside the passenger compartment, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said, according to The Associated Press.

By the time the driver pulled over and exited the 1999 Lincoln Town car, the back of the limo was fully engulfed in flames. Four passengers escaped the blaze, with one squeezing thought the partition behind the driver.

Firefighters rushed to the scene and put out the fire before finding five badly burned bodies huddled near the partition.

"My guess would be they were trying to get away from the fire and use that window opening as an escape route," Foucrault said.

The San Mateo County Coroner's Office has not officially released the names of the women killed in the fire.

The owner of the limousine company, Limo Stop, told ABC News in a statement that he's deeply saddened and will do everything possible to investigate and assist authorities.

Police say it is unclear how the fire started and will be counting on surviving victims to give their accounts leading up to the inferno. The flames reportedly spread so fast that the rest of the women sitting in the back of the limo had no time to escape.

Other drivers stopped to assist, California Highway Patrol Officer Amelia Jack told ABC News.

"The driver was able to get out, some good Samaritans did stop and assist and try and pull people from the fire," Jack said.

Russell McGillicuddy, owner of Air One Limousine Service in San Jose, Calif., said the 1999 Lincoln Town car only had two doors in the back.

"It was an aged piece of equipment and I don't believe it had the extra door and they would have to climb over each other and exit through the rear doors," said McGillicuddy, who has no connection to the limo in question.

Friends fondly remembered Fojas as likeable and active.

"She was nice person, quiet and friendly," Roy Talagon said.

Ivy Savero said, "I always saw her in her Facebook that she's riding a bike … sometimes, I think, mountain climbing."

California Highway Patrol identified the surviving passengers as Mary Grace Guardiano, 42, of Alameda; Nelia Rafael Arellano, 36, of Oakland; Amalia P. Loyola, 48, of San Leandro; and Jasmine Desguia, 34, of San Jose.

Desguia and Loyola were listed in critical condition, a spokeswoman for Valley Medical Center told the AP. The condition of Arrellano, who was taken to another hospital, was unknown. Guardiano's condition is unclear.

 

The driver's name is Orville F. Brown, 46, of San Jose from Limo Stop Inc., according to California Highway Patrol.

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